AFFRIC - a landmark for research
Friday, May 21st, 2010, was a landmark day for research at Deakin University,
The Hon Kevin Rudd MP came to the Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds to announce funding of $37m to support the establishment of a new collaborative research facility - the Australian Future Fibres Research and Innovation Centre (AFFRIC).
AFFRIC will be located at the Geelong Technology Precinct (GTP). This involves co-location of a materials and fibres research group from CSIRO, expansion of the existing research activities of our Centre for Materials and Fibre Innovation (CMFI within ITRI) and construction of a carbon fibre research pilot plant in partnership with Victorian Centre for Advanced Materials Manufacturing (VCAMM).
The research will focus on the development of a range of innovative and functional materials including:
- smart fibrous materials
- green natural fibres and carbon fibre
It will have applications for the aerospace, alternative energy, automotive and textiles industries.
The new Centre will be home to up to 300 additional staff and students, including 85 CSIRO staff. It will generate more than 400 jobs in the Geelong region during its construction phase.
This successful bid had its origin nearly three years ago and I want to acknowledge the monumental efforts of Dr Russell Walker from our Research Partnerships Office and Professor Brad Dunstan, the Chief Executive Officer of VCAMM for their major contributions to this Education Ivestment Fund application and their ongoing attention to opportunities for lobbying and advocacy.
I also extend my thanks to former Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor David Stokes, Professors Xungai Wang and Peter Hodgson, Drs Bronwyn Fox and Tong Lin, Mr Chris Hurren and the Facilities Management Services Division for their specific contributions at various stages in the long gestation of this bid.
Deakin also owes much to the enthusiasm and collaborative approach from CSIRO, in particular to CEO Dr Megan Clark, Dr Steve Morton, Group Executive, Manufacturing, Materials and Minerals, Dr Calum Drummond, Chief of Materials Science and Engineering and Dr Bill Humphries, the Officer-in-Charge, Materials Science and Engineering, at Belmont.
Deakin is also enormously appreciative of the very strong support received from the City of Greater Geelong, the Geelong Manufacturing Council and especially from the Hon Richard Marles MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation and Industry and Mr Darren Cheeseman MP, Federal Member for Corangamite.
Please join me in congratulating the Deakin team from ITRI. I am looking forward to building AFFRIC and the novel research opportunities it will bring to Deakin.
Professor Lee Astheimer
Watch videos from the AFFRIC announcement